Eiyuden Chronicle

Suikoden and Eiyuden Chronicle Creator Yoshitaka Murayama Has Passed At 55

He passed due to complications with an ongoing illness on February 6th

Some saddening news this morning: we have learned that Yoshitaka Murayama, who is better known as the creative mind of the Suikoden franchise and the Eiyuden Chronicle games, has passed away at the age of 55, according to a statement from Rabbit & Bear Studios. His passing was confirmed to happen earlier last week on February 6th due to complications with “ongoing illness.”

“[Murayama’s] hard work on Eiyuden Chronicle as scenario writer was finished, but as his co-workers and friends, it saddens us to know that he won’t get to see the reactions from his fans. However, even with those feelings, we need to accept the reality that he is no longer with us and continue to push his dream forward by releasing Eiyuden Chronicle to the world,” Rabbit & Bear Studios’ Junko Kawano, Junichi Murakami and Osamu Komuta said in a joint statement.

“We want to maintain his legacy and vision with this game and know that he would have wanted the rich world he has created with Eiyuden Chronicle to live on. His family sincerely appreciates your prayers and support
but asks for privacy and that no flowers, mail, or other offerings be sent.”

Yoshitaka Murayama was born in Hokkaido, Japan, on January 17th, 1969. At 23, he submitted a job application at Konami’s newly opened Tokyo headquarters in the summer of 1992 after finishing up his computer programming studies at the University of Tokyo. He was first hired as a QA tester, but months later, he was selected alongside others to create a game for the company’s internal game console. This project was later scrapped as resources were moved onto Sony’s upcoming console, the original PlayStation.

A first draft scenario of what would become Suikoden was submitted; the project’s goal for Murayama was to create an RPG that would rival the works of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. While the game was tested early in 3D, Murayama wasn’t impressed by the visuals, so instead opted to make the game as a traditional 2D RPG. The game was eventually released in 1995; thanks to word of mouth, game sales increased, turning Suikoden into a franchise for Konami as more and more games were released, including mainline sequels and spinoffs.

After ten years with the company, Murayama left Konami in July 2002. Even though he wanted to stay on longer, he was apparently forced out of the company leading to the RPG franchise being fumbled by Konami years later after Murayama’s departure. Murayama went on to focus on freelance work and created his own company, Blue Moon Studio, going on to create 10,000 Bullets and Tensho Gakuen Gekkoroku. After working on those titles, Murayama received an offer from another company.

Later on in life, Murayuma wanted to create a real successor to Suikoden, so alongside his past collaborators at Konami, they launched a new project with the spiritual legacy of the Konami RPG franchise in the form of Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, which was announced back on July 27th, 2020 and would be funded on Kickstarter. The project got its funding in three hours alone and exceeded all its stretch goals, becoming the third most-funded project in the crowdfunding campaign’s history with over $4.5 million USD raised across 46, 307 backers. The project would later see the release of the game’s prequel, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising in 2022.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes will serve as Murayama’s final game, which is slated to launch for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch on April 23rd